(in short) What's the epigraphical support to the Aeolian word ἴκκος ? I can't find it in the (very limited) data I can consult.

(full story) The history of the Greek word ἵππος ("horse") can be tracked down to the Mycenaean Greek, see e.g. tablet PY Ta 722/DMG 246.1 : "i-qo-qe".

Unexpected initial aspiration (at least in Attic), unexpected initial vowel, geminate consonant : the exact story of the word is obscure (see e.g. D. Gary Miller, Ancient Greek Dialects and Early Authors, p. 299).

The Aeolian form "ἴκκος" is broadly cited but I can't find whence it came. What's its epigraphical source ? E.g. the site epigraphy.packhum.org, as far as I know, doesn't know it. Is it a word cited by a Greek author ? Plato knew the name Ἴκκος (e.g. in Protagoras 316d).

Alas, I don't have access to Ernst Schwentner's "Griech. ἳππος und ἴκκος".

Any help, any reference would be appreciated !

  • 3
    This kind of question is on-topic in Latin Language Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 9:29
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    I have access to Ernst Schwentners note, and it is not about the attestation of ikkos but about the vowel i in place of an expected e. He compares to Tocharian A yuk Toch. B yakwe with an unexpected initial y- Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 11:10

3 Answers 3


As far as I can see, ἴκκος is not attested epigraphically, but it is cited in the Byzantine Etymologicum Magnum 474,12. This is mentioned by Chantraine, but strangely not by Beekes.

  • hippos forms a lot of compounds and is used in personal names, can there be an attestation of hikkos in a compound or name? Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 11:04
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    @jknappen-ReinstateMonica. Yes, Ἴκκος is attested as a name.
    – fdb
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 11:41

Except from Etymologicon Mega (472.12 ίκκος, σημαίνει τον ίππον) it appears in an inscrition from Kalindoia, Mygdonia, Chalkidike SEG 36:626 as a part of the personal name Ἰκκότας (instead of Ἰππότας).


I’ve had some confusion over this too, and in light of all the answers here and the sources for them I think the claim it is an Aeolic form is from one wrong statement in Wikipedia.

We would very much expect this not to be an Aeolic form, but possibly an exceptional Ionic form, since the origin is Proto-Greek hikkwos (where q is a labiovelar), and while Attic-Ionic changed this to τ before ε/ι and Attic reliably changed it to π elsewhere, and Ionic usually changed it to π but sometimes to κ: Chalkidike spoke an Ionic dialect, and the interrogative/indefinite series like που, πως are in Ionic κου, κως. However, even in Ionic, it was usually ίππος as in Attic (can’t easily get accents and breathings installed, sorry). However, Aeolic was generally π everywhere, even before ε/ι (especially Lesbian).

Since we apparently only have a direct citation in a Byzantine dictionary that doesn’t specify dialect and an indirect reference in an Ionic area, I think someone made a mistake and it spread from there.

  • Even as an Ionicism it's very difficult, though, since the κ of κως etc. is usually explained as extended from οὔ κως where it would be regular by the boukolos rule.
    – TKR
    Commented Aug 12, 2020 at 1:26

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